I can whore with the best of them

Any opportunity to get a dig in at Favre...

It’s the “official” launch day for Rift. Everyone is talking about it. Everyone. Which means that I’m talking about it too, as I fall into the category of “everyone”. Mostly, the hub-ub is whether the game is “successful” or “evolutionary” or “next-gen”. Some are throwing around flashy phrases like “3.0”, or writing things with a lot of “quotations” to make them seem “edgy”.

I’m still not blown away by the game myself though. It’s fun, and easy. Really easy. And maybe that’s the appeal. Avoiding the literal term of the words given the queue situation, it’s very easy to get in and out of so far. The quintessential theme park so far, where every step is guided, I know exactly where I’m supposed to go at any moment. Along those predetermined routes, I’m usually able to find more than ample supplies for any of the crafting professions I’ve chosen to pursue, and then just do a mass-combine when I’m done. The only limitations to outings from a hub have been the moderate ones generated by bag space – and that has been minor at best.

For me, the most engaging aspect of the game, hasn’t been the game itself. It’s been the meta. Experimenting with builds, reviewing and judging the various souls for synergy and complementing abilities. It’s good fun, and the rest of the game is exactly what I, and I think others, want out of PvE themepark game if they are going to play it. If you’re looking for the “new dynamic” you wont’ find it in Rift. Nothing has struck me as revolutionary or astounding in innovation (which you’ve read elsewhere a thousand times).

That said, I don’t necessarily believe that the “next gen” of MMOs are required to include a new gameplay experience, or some new system. If that was the case, WAR would be a much stronger case for being declared part of the next generation crowd than Rift. I sincerely believe that being part of the new breed of MMOs could be just releasing polished, finished games on day 1. With previous games, when buggy launches occurred, or problems arose, we still had people believe that it was just the way the genre was. The nature of the beast, so to speak. I was one of those people as well. So, if Rift alone can convince people such as myself, and the entire genre, into stronger releases, and better implementations, then I say – that’s worthy of declaring the new generation in effect. It sets the bar for its contemporaries, and I think that Rift did that. I know that I’ll be judging all future MMOs on launch day to Rift. Won’t you?

Fantasy-shmantasy

The future works for me.

I’ve always been an unabashed sci-fi nerd. I started off reading sci-fi in my youth, and that progressed into the fantasy genre, naturally. Not because the two actually bear a close resemblance, but because in every book store you’ve ever been to, the two are grouped together, out of some strange demarcation of nerd-dom. If you are walking through those areas of Barnes & Nobles, you must be a dorky, socially inept, 20-something virgin, amirite? Okay mini-rant at social perceptions is over. Anyway, I really enjoyed reading the Ender Series, the first Pern novel, and a slew of other great science fiction as a kid, and still to this day read some of the more “mature” authors, and this mirrors over to cinema and video games as well. To me, sci-fi has always been just a different setting to relate the story of humanity. The focus of the genre can often be on the techie stuff, and space, and all the other bells and whistles that people expect to come along as a trope, but I find it to be more frequently about the people than I do in the fantasy genre. So, imagine my joy in the last year or so of surge of non-fantasy related MMOs coming out.

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